David Piwnica-Worms, M.D., Ph.D.

Professor and Chair, Department of Cancer Systems Imaging Deputy Head, Diagnostic Imaging The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center
The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center

Dr. David Piwnica-Worms is the Gerald Dewey Dodd, Jr., Endowed Distinguished Chair in Diagnostic Imaging, Division of Diagnostic Imaging, at The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center. He is Professor, Department of Cancer Systems Imaging, Division of Diagnostic Imaging at MD Anderson Cancer Center, and he also serves as Chair, Department of Cancer Systems Imaging, Division of Diagnostic Imaging.

A pioneer and leader in the field of molecular imaging, Dr. Piwnica-Worms created several innovative strategies to visually capture and measure biological processes in living animals, model systems and humans at the molecular and cellular level using remote imaging detection methods. Dr. Piwnica-Worms has focused on genetically-encoded bioluminescent and radiotracer reporter systems for imaging signal transduction, protein-protein interactions and transcriptional regulation of gene expression at scales ranging from single cells to cell populations to live animals and humans in vivo. He is also interested in the function and regulation of the multidrug resistance P-glycoprotein family of transporters, and he has spearheaded translational research directed toward imaging cell-penetrating peptides and radiopharmaceuticals in medical imaging applications.

Dr. Piwnica-Worms was an Established Investigator of the American Heart Association, a Research Scholar of the Radiological Society of North America and received the Stauffer Award from the Association of University Radiologists. He is a founding member and former President of the Society for Molecular Imaging and is recipient of the Society for Molecular Imaging Lifetime Achievement Award. He serves on committees of the American Association for Cancer Research, is a member of several External Advisory Boards of major Comprehensive Cancer Centers, was an Associate Editor for Cancer Research and is a Scientific Editor for Cancer Discovery. Dr. Piwnica-Worms has been honored with a Distinguished Alumnus Award from Duke University Medical School, is a recipent of the Texas STARS Faculty Award, is an Elected Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science and an Elected Member of the National Academy of Medicine.

Dr. Piwnica-Worms earned his bachelor’s degree from Stanford University and received his medical and doctorate degrees as a Medical Scientist Training Program awardee at Duke University Medical School. He completed residency training in diagnostic radiology and a fellowship at the Brigham and Women’s Hospital, followed by his first faculty appointments at Harvard Medical School. Thereafter, for two decades, Dr. Piwnica-Worms was at Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis, where he was Director of the BRIGHT Institute and the Molecular Imaging Center, driving inter-disciplinary innovation in molecular imaging until 2013, when he was recruited to the MD Anderson Cancer Center.